Did you know that even a simple fall in the bathroom could leave older adults severely injured and may even prove fatal? Over ⅓ of people over 65 in Singapore has had a fall and most of these falls happen at home. However, there are concrete steps that can be taken to prevent falls at home. Here’s what you can do to make your home #fallproof.
#1 Equip the Bathroom
69% of falls at home occur in the bathroom! With its slippery surfaces and hard edges, falls in the bathroom can be especially dangerous. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that your bathroom is well-equipped for fall prevention.
Bathroom surfaces are often tiled and slippery. To prevent slips, place anti-slip bath mats on the floor or in the shower area. These anti-slip bath mats provide a non-slip grip that reduces the likelihood of falls in the bathroom.
If the overall look of bath mats does not complement your bathroom, you could also opt for clear anti-slip strips or circles. Like the anti-slip bath mats, these anti-slip strips could be placed on the floor or in the shower area to create a non-slip surface.
Besides creating non-slip surfaces, you could also install grab bars to provide support and balance. These grab bars should be stable and safe to grasp. Typical stainless steel grab bars could get slippery when wet. Therefore, they might not be the most suitable grab bars to be placed in the shower areas. Ideally, you should opt for grab bars with textured surfaces to improve grip and stability.
One example of a grab bar with textured surfaces is the HappyHome Stainless Steel Nylon Grab Bar. The HappyHome Grab Bar is made of stainless steel and coated with nylon which is less slippery. It also has a unique textured surface to improve grip. Besides those features, the grab bars also come with glow-in-the-dark indicator rings on both sides of the grab bars to prevent falls from happening due to low light conditions.
#2 Secure Your Bedroom Too!
Like bathrooms, bedrooms are places where older adults are prone to falls. There are two main reasons why older adults fall in the bedroom.
Firstly, the bedroom tends to be one of the more dimly lit rooms in the house. As a result, the visibility in the room might not be the best which might increase the likelihood of older adults tripping over things on the floor. To fix that, you could consider installing more lights in your bedroom to brighten up the room.
On the same note, older adults might be more likely to trip if they have to get up in the middle of the night to use the washroom. Hence, maybe you could consider getting a bedside night light to brighten up the room at night. These night lights could also serve as cute little decorations for your bedside table!
Other than brightening up the bedroom, you should also clear the walkway of unnecessary items and clutter. For example, a decorative throw rug could increase the likelihood of slips and falls. Hence, to prevent falls, these items could be removed from the room.
Some older adults are also prone to falling off the bed due to several reasons. For example, their prescribed medications could be causing drowsiness or dizziness, leaving them disoriented and prone to falls. To prevent that from happening, you should consider adding bed rails to your beds.
The Stander EZ Adjust Bed Rail has adjustable lengths which effectively prevents falls. It is also collapsible which allows for secure transfers from the bed to the wheelchair if required.
#3 Living Room and Kitchen #FallProof Tips.
While falls in the living room and kitchen are less frequent as compared to the bathroom and bedroom, fall prevention is still essential. Here are some quick pointers on how to #fallproof your living room.
- Ensure that furniture is stable. Older adults tend to use furniture as support when standing up or walking around. Hence, it is important to make sure that your furniture can withstand the weight of the person.
- Keep daily necessities within reach. By doing so, we can eliminate the chances of the older person having to stand on a chair to reach for something they need, which reduces the likelihood of falls.
- Grab bars are not limited to the shower areas! If you realize that you or your loved ones need some support walking between rooms, you could install grab bars along the walkways to provide additional support.